Archive for the 'Fall 2008' Category

Dec 28 2008

Christmas in Texas

Published by under Fall 2008

We arrived in Denton on Monday instead of the planned Tuesday because we were having some problems with the water heater and pump, so instead of boondocking for the night we started early in the morning from Pecos, TX and pushed on, arriving about 4:30.  We have been assigned the best spot in the RV park where we stay, so it should be a comfortable visit.

Tuesday Dianna made cookies with the grandkids and Dom spent the night with us.  He really misses his Papa and Nana when we are gone.  Wednesday Dianna did some last minute shopping and baked some pies.

Christmas is sure different when Santa does not come.  We got up at 8 and arrived at Jennings about 9.  Chris was the only one up!  It never worked like that when I was a teen.  We opened presents and everyone had nice things.   The Jennings family gave me a Sony Blu-Ray player and also a new Sony receiver which they said was for my birthday.  Although the gift tag had my name on it, it is a gift we will both enjoy very much.  The 1080P images on our 42 inch Sony Bravia TV and the surround sound in our small apartment sized home are hard to beat.

We had a wonderful Honey Baked Ham Christmas dinner, and everyone ate more cookies and candy than wise.  We stayed at Jennings until early evening then went home to relax, and we have been relaxing ever since.  The past month has been quite stressful, with over 4,500 miles of travel and the emotions of the events.

We play to stay in Texas for at least a month, except for a trip to Tennessee to visit Darin’s family.  That will probably happen around the second weekend in January.  We have not seen the girls in a long time.  Perhaps the fact that we are taking our boat to Darin will help make up for it.  They should all enjoy it on the lakes and rivers they have there.

Dianna has completed the Christmas letter, but it is not in the mail yet.  I hope no one will be disappointed by the fact that it is late, but for those who follow our blog it will not be anything new anyway.

2 responses so far

Dec 10 2008

Aunt Reah

Published by under Fall 2008

My aunt went home to be with Jesus yesterday afternoon. Mike and his family were with her at the time but Judy and Carrie, sadly, weren’t. Judy was taking her dad to a doctor’s appointment and Carrie & I were at the cemetery finalizing things. The family is very sad but so glad their mom is out of pain and home with her Lord.

My sister, Julie, will drive up with my mom Saturday and Greg flies in Sunday evening to Sacramento. Visitation is Sunday afternoon and services will be Monday.

We appreciate your prayers at this difficult time.

8 responses so far

Nov 30 2008

Denair for the duration

Published by under Fall 2008

We drove from Tucumcarri, NM to Ash Fork, AZ where we spent the night behind a Chevron service station.  It was a very long day and we drove through a lot of rain, but wanted to get past Flagstaff where snow was forecast overnight.  We were on the road Thanksgiving day by about 7 AM California time and arrived at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster about 2 PM.  We set up the trailer, cleaned up, and then drove down to Wideners for Thanksgiving dinner.  Julie worked all afternoon preparing the turkey and fixin’s so we had a very nice dinner.  I drove back to Lancaster after dinner to spend the night and Dianna stayed at her parent’s house.

Friday morning I left Lancaster with the trailer and Dianna left Granada Hills about the same time with her mother in their car.  We met in Fresno for lunch and then I drove to Mike and Randi’s ranch in Denair while Dianna and her Mom stopped at the hospital in Turlock to see Reah.  They also spent most of Saturday with her.

Reah does recognize people most of the time, but has great difficulty communicating.  Her condition remains grave and the prognosis is grim.  The family has made the decision to honor her wishes and will be taking her home on Monday.  Hospice will be helping with her care and she will be removed from all medications and artificial means of sustenance.  The doctors say that she will probably only live for a couple more weeks at most.

The family is accepting of the situation, although understandably sad.  Mother is glad she has had an opportunity to see Reah one last time, and Carrie’s sister Judy will be arriving from Montana on Monday for the duration as well.  The current plan calls for me to take Mother back to Granada Hills on Tuesday.

We are all set up in our home and are very comfortable.  Mike put in a 50 amp outlet so we can plug in and run all our heat and appliances, and I have the satellite internet and TV all set up as well.  We will be fine for as long as it takes.

It’s a sad time, but as the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “To everything there is a season.”

4 responses so far

Nov 25 2008

Unexpected Travel

Published by under Fall 2008

Last week we learned that Dianna’s Aunti Reah had suffered what the doctors are calling a massive stroke.  As we traveled toward Denton, Dianna spent much of her time on the phone with her cousin Carrie, who is like a second sister to her.  By the weekend her Unkle Linc had been placed in a facility and everyone became aware that Aunti Reah’s prognosis was grave.  After some more phone calls last evening,  we decided we needed to be in California to be with the family.

We went to Jennings and tearfully let them know we would not be here for Thanksgiving, and that we will try very hard to return so we can still have Christmas together.  They understand, but we are all sad about it.

This morning we will leave Denton and make the trip to Denair, CA.  It is about 1600 miles so it will take at least 3 days to get there.  We will have very little if any internet connectivity during that time, so if anyone needs us, they should call.

7 responses so far

Nov 20 2008

Pancho Villa

Published by under Fall 2008

Today we rode the scooter 30 miles south of Deming to Columbus, NM where we visited the Pancho Villa State Park Museum.  Pancho Villa invaded the US back in 1916.  They say it was the last time anyone invaded mainland America, so I guess they don’t count the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands in 1942.  Several civilians and soldiers were killed in the battle and President Wilson mounted a major response.  He sent General Pershing here with 10,000 troups to invade Mexico and track down Pancho Villa.  The invasion and search lasted almost a year, and while many of Villa’s men were captured or killed, he was not.

The military action was interesting because of several firsts.  It was the first time airplanes were used by the US in combat.  It was the first time gasoline powered vehicles were used, and the first time a vehicle that was a forerunner of what became knows as a tank was used.


The year long expedition was good training and probably saved thousands of lives in the long run, since four months after being recalled from Mexico, Pershing was tasked with leading US troops into WW I as America joined the war.

One response so far

Nov 19 2008

Heading to Texas for the Holidays

Published by under Fall 2008

We left Mesa and our boondocking campsite along the Salt River on Tuesday instead of Monday as originally planned.  Sunday night I noticed the battery bank was not holding like it should and figured a battery had failed.  We have eight of them in the trailer and all but one was purchased about three years ago.  When I checked Monday morning I discovered that the replacement battery we had purchased in March had lasted only five months.  Wal-Mart replaced it for free.

Unfortunately, by the time I got the battery replaced it would have been too late to get far, so we hung around an extra day.  Tuesday we drove to Safford, AZ and spend the night at Roper Lake State Park.  It is a very nice park built around a small lake.  We wouldn’t mind spending some time there in the future.

Today we drove to Deming, NM and are staying at the Dreamcatcher RV Park, an Escapees park, where we plan to be for a couple days.  Dianna did laundry when we got here since we have full hookups for the first time since we left San Onofre.  Tomorrow we will do some exploring around the area.

Tonight we are expecting the coldest night we have experienced so far this year.   The weather forcast says it should get down to 31, and it is 38 now as we prepare to go to bed at 11 PM.  Brrrr.

2 responses so far

Nov 06 2008

Does Your Vote for President Count?

Published by under Fall 2008

Unless you live in a “battleground, state, no.

For every political office in the country, the victor is determined by popular vote.  The only exception is for the most important office in the land, that of president.  We all know it was set up this way originally because of the distances involved and lack of technology during the 18th century.  But this is the 21st century.  The system no longer serves us and should be abolished.

Once again the country that touts itself as the greatest democracy in the world has endured another presidential election using the dumbest and most unfair election system ever devised.  We are urged over and over during the weeks leading up to the election to get out and vote, and that every vote counts (meaning matters).  But presidential candidates and all political advisers know how the system really works.  The voting outcome in all but about 8 major states is well known and will not change regardless of the amount of campaigning conducted in those states.  Therefore, the candidates spend almost no money or time in those non battleground states during the campaign.  I guess you could say those who don’t live in battleground states are the lucky ones.  The battleground states are those whose population is large enough to make a difference, and whose outcome is close enough to be contested, and they receive almost all the attention.  I can’t imagine what it feels like to watch TV in Ohio, PA, or FL.  There must be more political commercials than TV programs!

The states that are written off include three of the most populous states in the country; CA, TX and NY.  Combined they account for 26 percent of the population.  That is considerably more the the combined population of the 8 battleground states.

In those states that are written off, it does not matter what the margin of the anticipated win is.  They know they will win or lose the state, so they don’t really care if they receive every vote or only win by one vote — the outcome is the same.

There have been multiple cases where the candidate with the most popular votes has lost the election in the electoral college, but that is not the worst result in my mind.  It is that this system has resulted in presidential election campaigns being conducted only in a few select states.  If you don’t live in one of those states you may as well not vote.  None of the candidates care one way or the other, because they have either written you off already, or taken your vote for granted.  Either way, your vote does not matter to them.  In other words, your vote does not count.

13 responses so far

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